The Impact of Fossil Fuels

14 January 2016 - By Eugene Herbert


somewhat from our conventional subjects we thought it appropriate to share the
challenges of the motor industry, albeit from a slightly different perspective.

fatalities, it seems are an inevitable part of everyday life - just as many
other things are.

has been said about the fully automated car that will be capable of making
a significant contribution to the wellbeing of humans – great.

what if another thing we have to deal with compromises those lofty ideals?

not our exceptional brain size that makes humans special, but rather our
ability to imagine the future. This skill trains us to think, unlike other
animals and ultimately this enables us to triumph over them. And, yet, a
limitation of this unique ability might also spell our doom.

At a
meeting in Paris, world leaders are scratching their heads about how we can
deal with the imminent threat posed by global warming. Our energy-thirsty civilization
is guzzling fossil fuels at an unsustainable rate and we are soon to run out
our carbon budget. We are told that if we don’t act now, disastrous
consequences are predicted: rising sea levels, extreme weather events,
easy-to-spread infections and so on.

as Arnold Schwarzenegger makes
it clear
, despite our ability to dream up dystopia, “Stuff that happens in
the future does not mean anything to people.” It’s a limitation that could
seriously hinder a successful outcome of what was planned in Paris.

way out may be to reframe the debate. Global warming will affect billions of
lives in the future. But, by one estimate, our love for fossil fuels may
already be responsible for more deaths than those caused by wars, murders, and
traffic accidents combined.

figures come from the 2012 Climate Vulnerability Monitor. In 2010, some 4.5
million deaths could be attributed to air pollution, because of the production
of carbon particles and nitrogen oxides. Another 500,000 deaths that year could
be attributed to changes in climate, which lead to extreme weather events,
flare ups in infectious diseases, and other disastrous phenomena.

course, things are only going to get worse. But few people will understand what
“worse” will look like in the future. Better to think about how our fossil fuel
use is already affecting the planet and its inhabitants, and be proactive.
 Just how bad is it? (see graphs below)


On this thought provoking topic, we close of this
final newsletter in 2015 with some practical suggestions for road users during
the holiday season:

·         Don’t
drink and drive

·         Be
nice it’s contagious

·         Keep
a GOOD following distance

·         Slow
down – enjoy the drive and save some emissions while you are about it

·         Don’t drive fatigued – regular rest
breaks will ensure you arrive safely &, finally

·         Don’t
be a Distracted Driver – that means not only not misusing the phone, it’s also
all those other distracting things that prevent you focusing on the task of

next year - Drive Safe and think of what kind of world you would like to leave
your children – and how you should drive to survive…

Other Articles

  • Driving Resolutions

  • Running red lights -Fatalities Reach 10-Year High in the US

  • Africa Trave Guide

  • Drivers in SUVs more dangerous

  • Driving through roadworks

  • Culture drives policy

  • Strict speed enforcement detrimental to safety?

  • Dodge the pothole

  • Speed doesn’t cause crashes ?

  • Avoiding a rear-end collision

  • Seatbelt check list

  • Passengers put your feet up…or not

  • The ripple effect of your driving behaviour

  • Consequences of drinking and driving

  • Driving tired – the dangers!

  • Driving in work zones

  • Driving after dark

  • Tips: Fake phones for driver safety?

  • Do drivers know how to keep a safe following distance?

  • Study reveals women are the angriest drivers

  • Driving With a Pet in the Vehicle

  • Keys Left in Vehicles Spurring More Thefts

  • Public Protector

  • The Risks of Eating and Driving

  • Cognitive Psychology and Vehicle Speed

  • Animal Collisions

  • Young Drivers Over-Estimate Their Abilities

  • Driving for Better Business

  • Parallel Parking No Fuss, No Drama

  • Profiling Driver Risk

  • Back-to-School Driving Advice

  • Drowsy Driving Persists as Fatal Crash Cause

  • Tailgating

  • How you drive reveals a lot about your personality

  • Understanding the Zipper Merge

  • Prevalence of Self-Reported Aggressive Driving Behaviour

  • Warning: Pokemon Go, Another Distraction…

  • Are parents negatively impacting learner drivers?

  • How fast are your reactions?

  • Self-Driving Cars Raise Ethical Issues

  • Multi-Tasking In The Car - A Myth

  • Driving After Dark

  • Airtravel vs. Road use

  • How to Conduct Efficient Vehicle Inspections

  • The Three Life-Saving Questions

  • How to Prevent Rear-End Collisions

  • Driving with limited visibility

  • Look twice for motocycles

  • Keeping Your Children Safe From Distracted Driving Crashes

  • Being Driving Focussed

  • Distracted Driving fuels insurance rate hikes

  • Adjusting to the time change

  • Pothole Definition

  • Buckling up in the back seat

  • Weather-related Traffic Deaths - What studies show...

  • Reversing Tips

  • Elements of a safety program

  • One-In-Seven Suffer Memory Gaps When Driving

  • NTSB Most Critical

  • Will self-driving cars allow for drinking and driving?

  • The Impact of Fossil Fuels

  • Driver Safety 101

  • Head Restraints Cut Injuries by 11%

  • Traffic Fatalities Up in First Half of 2015

  • Car Lock-in "Heads Up"

  • Is drunk driving OK when the alternative may be worse?

  • Distracted Driving Detection Technology

  • Driver Distractions Extend 27 Seconds beyond Act

  • Drunk Driving - South Africa rated the worst

  • When Flash Floods Strike

  • What to watch out for on Rural Roads

  • Self-Parking Technology Avoided

  • Are you and your family breaking the law?

  • Work Related Driving Time

  • Safety near Bicyclist

  • Human Error

  • Aircon Saves Fuel

  • Fuel Prices Down - Efficient Driving Still Needed

  • Managing Space & Time for Safe Driving

  • Driverless Cars

  • 7 Tips for Curbing Distracted Driving

  • Parental Role Modelling

  • Braced for Impact

  • 7 Advances in Automotive Safety Technology That Could Save Your Life

  • 8 out 10 Drivers Exceed Factory Posted Fuel Consumption Figures

  • Driving into the sunset isn't always Romantic

  • Do you know your drivers? Do they know you?

  • Study: 25% of Cars Create Most Air Pollution

  • Hands-Free Infotainment Isnt Risk Free, Safety Council Warns

  • Ten Things All Car Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles

  • Legislation Update: Baby seats

  • Female Drivers More Likely to Use Cell Phones

  • Roundabouts Safer for Older Drivers

  • Unpacking the Ministers Collision

  • Dealing with the Aftermath of Potholes

  • How to Avoid Parking Lot Crashes

  • Mobile Pone Distraction set to become Biggest Kllre on British Roads by 2015

  • Light Commercial Vehicles can be Low on Safety

  • Saving lives: Improved vehicle designs bring down death rates

  • China To Improve Road Safety To Protect Lives

  • Top Ten Tips To Stay Within The Limit

  • Dealing with Agressive Driving

  • Top 10 Accident Prone Professions

  • National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

  • Maintaining Perspective - Deaths by Terrorism in 2013

  • Where Drivers Dont Mean To Speed

  • Circles, Circles and more circles

  • Calm your Driving

  • Sharing the Highway with Heavy Trucks

  • Pedestrian Safety

  • Abuse of Cell Phones Taken More Seriously

  • 5 Steps to Keep your Child Safe

  • Driving While Medicated

  • Hands On Steering

  • Scanning the Road

  • Prevent being blinded by Sun Glare

  • Link Discovered Between Driver Obesity & Crash Risk

  • A Third of Young Drivers Admit Taking 'Selfies' at the Wheel

  • How to Prevent 'UFO's' in your Vehicle